…On Losing a Limb…

Back in the spring, as I began to plant my garden, I wanted to remove some tree limbs that hung above it. Late into the morning and early in the afternoon they would cast shade on the black dirt that held my tiny seedlings. I bought an extendable fiberglass pole that had a curved saw-tooth blade on the end. I whacked up a big old pile of backyard branches that day.

I found the trimming easy, with my new toy. The saw munched easily through the base of each bough. I could use the string to actuate a lever-jaw too, clipping off the smaller stuff cleanly.

I picked the lowest limbs and cut them all off. All around the yard I went, each tree got a trim.

When I made it around, back to the garden area, I looked at the two medium sized hackberrys that hung above it. I had to make tough choices about how much to remove. Many of their limbs were blocking the sun from my little patch. The veggies needed more light. I started slicing and carving on those two trees. I wondered even if I my cutting went too far.

There were heaps of smaller leaf covered branches all around me, piled on the ground, when I was done. Only a couple main stick-like stems reached skyward from those two trees afterward. I had made toothpicks out of them, it seemed.

“Oh, well. The garden is my baby, I had to do this. It will help my vegetables grow big and strong.”

Now, as the weather is cooled off, and garden season is over, I walk past those trees twice a day. I look over at them, I’m amazed. The trees have flourished over the summer. They now are taller and fuller and prettier than ever. They musn’t have been too bothered by the amputations.

I thought I was almost killing them, and really I was just pruning away the old low hanging branches. The trees know nothing but to grow. Grow they have.

I like having some shade on my garden. It seems to help in the hottest part of the summer. I still have some of that shade. The trees do just what they are supposed to do. The veggies too. Nature grows and lives and expands.

I am encouraged by the trees. They thrived, just when I thought I had hacked them up so badly. Maybe our lives work like the trees do. They need pruned sometimes, so that they can grow to new heights. 🙂

Until next week…

May God be with You.


Aaron Nichols

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